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Daily podcast - July 29, 2009


29th July 2009

By: Amy Witherden


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Wednesday, July 29, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Sheila Barradas.
Making headlines:
The latest unemployment figures released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) illustrate that the African National Congress's (ANC's) labour policy is misguided, says the Democratic Alliance (DA).
According to Stats SA's Quarterly Labour Force survey, some 267 000 South Africans lost their jobs between the first and second quarter of 2009. South Africa's unemployment rate now stands at 23,6% of the labour force in the second quarter of 2009, up slightly from 23,5% in the first quarter. The slight change in the unemployment number, however, masks a sharper deterioration in the labour market, with the number of "discouraged work seekers" increasing by 302 000 in the second quarter.
The DA spokesperson Andrew Louw states that these figures signal that the ANC's stance on labour policy is ultimately destructive to employment creation. He says that the ANC needs to accept that political rhetoric cannot solve the real issues facing the labour market in South Africa.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that the reserve needs of emerging countries, outside China and rich oil exporters, could reach between $400-billion and $900-billion over the next five years, as countries recover from the global financial crisis.
The IMF warns that there is a potential for greater future demand for reserves, as current estimates assume that there will be no further haemorrhaging of reserves beyond 2009.
These estimates were included in an IMF report proposing the allocation of $250-billion in IMF special drawing rights. This international reserve asset was created to boost global liquidity.
The IMF says that net private capital inflows to developing countries are projected to contract by $100-billion in 2009. Risks to capital flows are likely to remain until financial stability is restored.


A new government initiative to fight HIV/Aids in South Africa was unveiled by Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor yesterday.
Speaking at the launch of the South African HIV/Aids Research and Innovation Platform (Sharp) in Johannesburg, Pandor explained that the initiative aims to combat HIV/Aids through scientific and technological research, as well as the development of new drugs, diagnostic tests and vaccines.
Pandor's department has pledged R45-million to Sharp over three years.
HIV/Aids prevalence in South Africa has stabilised at a level of 11%, said Pandor. However, statistics are still too high and the country needs to step up efforts in fighting HIV/Aids.

Also making headlines:
Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi says that the State is responsible for the current ‘civil discord' in South Africa.
The Judicial Service Commission defends its right to a closed inquiry on Cape Judge President John Hlophe's controversial case.
The Bureau for Economic research predicts that South Africa's economy will contract by 2% this year, followed by 'muted' growth in 2010.
And, a United Nations envoy to Somalia fears that some Somali exiles in Dubai may be aiding piracy and lawlessness in the Horn of Africa nation.


That's a roundup of news making headlines today.



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